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Highly pathogenic avian influenza detected in France

France detected on Jan. 2 an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) among vaccinated ducks in a duck farm in its western department of Vendee, the local prefecture said on Thursday.

According to the prefecture, in order to contain the spread of the bird flu, all the 8,700 ducks, all vaccinated against HPAI as requested by the French government last year, would be killed.

“To avoid any risk of spreading the virus to other farms, the prefect of Vendee has adopted a decree defining regulated protection zones and surveillance zones which are respectively set up within a radius of 3 and 10 km around the contaminated establishment,” it said in a press release.

Although the ducks were vaccinated against HPAI, the prefecture said that the vaccination does not completely eliminate the risk of infection in poultry if the virus is introduced into the farm.

The French Ministry of Agriculture said that a total of seven HPAI outbreaks have been confirmed in France since Nov. 27 last year, the date of the first HPAI outbreak since fall 2023.

France escalated last December its alert status for avian influenza from “moderate” to “high” nationwide after confirming the contamination of a turkey farm by HPAI. ■

Famagusta Gazette